Animal Totems


An animal totem represents your personal connection to a particular animal and its characteristics. Animal totems can change, without loss of previous influences.  During my lifetime so far, the horse has represented strength, hard work, willingness to “toe the line”. The cat has been a companion demonstrating balance in relationships to food, sleep, attention-seeking, and independence. Ants represent nest-building, connections, cooperation and industriousness.

My first animal totem, the first animal I strongly connected with, was the deer. My grandfather had a stuffed deer head. During rather strained visits with this man who did not like children, I would search out the deer. I found consolation in stroking its soft face. For me as a child, the deer was alive, in my imagination. Many years later, the qualities of the deer seem still to suit my personality.

More recently, the heron came, unexpectedly and with extraordinary strength at a time when I needed to be reminded, often, of the qualities the heron carries: aggressive self-reliance, and self-determination. (

And most recently, the vulture has entered my consciousness: riding wind currents, with perspective from a distance (the bigger picture), using energy powerfully and efficiently. ( Again and again, the vulture has been appearing, seldom solitary, cleaning up the environment.

Researching the meanings of particular animals can turn up varying interpretations. You can choose what resonates most accurately with you.

Animals may come into our lives for a reason. What that reason is, can be determined only by you. It is very personal. Pay Attention to what crosses your path. Check the chapter in Finding The Tiger A Coming of Age, on Paying Attention, p. 138.



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1 Response to Animal Totems

  1. Peggy says:

    The dolphin has been my totem. So at home in the water, so playful, gaining strength from the group. I wear a tiny dolphin with a piece of tampered glass on a chain at my neck. A reminder of my own strength too..


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